Welcome to our #TattooArtistThursday feature interview with Canada's own Liz Venom based out of Edmonton Alberta. Amazingly talented, Liz was an obvious choice for us to add her to the PrimalFamily. Over the last few years I have personally been able to watch Liz grow in talent and all I can say is that she impresses me with every single piece she does.
........ now, let's get to know Liz a little more in-depth. Enjoy the interview.
Name: Liz Venom
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Q: Tell us about yourself: Your Age?, Where you're from? Where you Tattoo?
A: About me? I'm from Australia, I am pretty new to tattooing and Canada in general. I tattoo at Bombshell Tattoo Galerie in Edmonton Alberta. I co-own it with my Fiancé.
Q: Who was your greatest influence in the art scene that made you want to become a Tattoo Artist? Who do you look up to within the Industry? Do you have mentors that make you strive to be better?
A: I think the person I look up to the most would have to be Mike Devries, not only is he, in my opinion, one of the best animal realism artists in the industry, but also one of the most approachable and humble people. Not only does his art make me want to be a better artist, but his attitude makes me want to be a better person.
Q: Please explain to our fans what your specific style is? You have such a unique style in the Tattoo industry, how would you describe it? What makes it stand out?
A: I think I would describe my style is "oil painting" realism; I'm not going to say it's photorealistic because I like put my own spin on it. I think my stuff is pretty easily identifiable as my own, I like to bump up the contrast on my pieces and put a heavy Gaussian blur in the background to bring my foreground closer to the viewer.
Q: Please tell us about the first Tattoo Memory you have. That moment that sparked it all.
A: I'm not like a lot of artists that started getting tattoos and loved them and then migrated to tattooing from there; I was an artist first. I didn't even have any tattoos when I started (I know, I'm a terrible person). So, my first tattoo memory would have to be my fiancee asking me to design his coverup for his arm. I had a lot of fun doing it and it seemed like a perfect way for me to actually do what I love, (art) for a career.
Q: Are you a traveling Artist? Do you attend Conventions or Guest Spots across or in other countries?
A: I would certainly like to travel more! Running a shop means you are pretty heavily tied down, but we are working on getting things a little more self-sustaining so that travel does not have to be so difficult. I am doing Nashville, Melbourne and a few Canadian conventions this year.
Q: How do you feel about today's Tattoo Conventions?
A: I have a love/hate relationship with them, I love getting together with other artists and sharing tips and spreading knowledge. But at the same time I hate how desperate some artists can get around competition time. I just wish conventions were more about the art and nurturing artists, less about stroking egos.
Q: The Evil Question: Coil or Rotary ... Which are you loyal to?
Q: What inspires your specific style of art?
A: Nature! I love the beauty of the world around us, I grew up in rural Australia and spent most of my life as a kid by the beach. There is so much beauty around us every day that people take for granted, I try to capture that in my work.
Q: Any upcoming projects that our fans should keep an eye out for?
A: Tisk Tisk, spoilers.
Q: What advice do you have for someone that wants to follow in your path? What is your advice to new artists on the brink of entering into this career?
A: Work hard, don't have an ego because no matter who you are and where you are; you are not the best. Rockstars are Douchebags, don't be one. Respect the person who is putting aside the time to teach you, they don't owe you shit until you earn it. And if no-one is teaching you, stop what you are doing now because kitchens are for sandwiches, not permanent body modification.
Q: We always like to ask the harder questions, dig a little deeper then everyone else. Can you tell us 3 things that most people wouldn't know about you?
A: I once got attacked by a kangaroo. I have been bitten by a salt water crocodile. (it was small but it still counts!) I could shoot a gun before I could drive a car.
Q: Weeding out all of the social influences, as we're bombarded every day with thousands of Tattoo images; is there any up and comers that you've got your eye on? Who are they and what is it that's tweaked you about their style?
A: I really like Megan Tews, she's recently started focusing on more blackwork pointillism and is just killing it. And I just got tattooed by Anthony Tex who has only been tattooing for a few years but his designs are just breathtaking.
Q: Out of the thousands of Tattoo's you've done, is there one that you can specifically say is your best? A piece that just puts that smile on your face? Can you share it with us?
A: I live by the belief that every single tattoo I do should be better than the last one, because if I'm not improving then what's the point?
Thank you so much Liz for taking the time to share this interview with us. It's honestly our pleasure to work with you and watch your growth as an amazing Tattoo Artist. Hopefully we'll see each-other again real soon, Safe Travels until then. Our last Question:
Q: Everyone has a saying, a mantra; mine is "It is what it is".
What is the quote you live by?
A: "Be better than you were yesterday".
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